Napping Saved My Life

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Naps are how you achieve the best version of yourself in college. I apologize if you were expecting a philosophical treatise on the intricacies of succeeding in college, detailing how to maintain healthy friendships and thrive academically.

But the answer is simple and it’s naps. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, anxious or on the brink of a panic attack, I nap and wake up with a more grounded sense of what’s happening in my life. That paper isn’t going to destroy me and not knowing what I want to major in isn’t the end of the world. I know it and everything is going to turn out just fine. I awake knowing I’m not going to die due to any immediate circumstances. My life was saved by napping.

Oh, you don’t need advice about how to nap? Napping is self-explanatory, you say? Wrong. In order to flourish in the demanding life of a college student we must learn how to nap properly. We must accept the necessity of it, yet be careful not to abuse the beauty of it. Like many things in life, moderation is key.

I napped at least three times a week my freshman year. I firmly believe I would be dead from exhaustion, stress or some lethal combination of the two had I not stuck with such a disciplined regimen. Or at least emotionally irreparable. Like therapy-can’t-even-help-now irreparable. Naps must be planned around the busy academic, extracurricular and social life of the eternally-exhausted college student. But just because they are the last activity to be factored into our daily routine, doesn’t make them any less important.

I found my ideal nap time to be about 20 to 30 minutes: long enough to refresh and reenergize, but short enough to avoid the grogginess that comes with longer naps. The occasional weeks when I had no opportunities for naps, I found myself crabby, much more stressed, less energized and a worse friend. I snapped at people who did nothing to deserve it, and dozed off during a class for the first time in the midst of one particularly challenging week of naplessness.

The fact is that naps are extremely beneficial for our health. I know you’ve seen all the articles and studies. To all you nap-haters, have you ever read something that said naps are bad? No you haven’t, so enough about how you don’t have time for them or you don’t understand what people enjoy about them. The only thing that prevents us from punching you when you crap all over naps is that our naps allow us to look past your ignorance. We know we’re better people for napping, even if you don’t.

Disclaimer: If you don’t like naps, I’m not saying we can’t be friends. I’m just saying I’ll never fully understand you, much like the fifth dimension in “Interstellar.”

Be flexible with your naps. Use those 30 minutes in between classes wisely, even if you don’t have time to make it back to your dorm. You’ll thank yourself (and me) for it. A friend of mine lived on a different campus freshman year, and when he didn’t have time to travel back and forth for naps, he made use of his surroundings. He often found himself napping in the library, various academic buildings or occasionally his friends’ beds. Be resourceful like him.

Napping allowed me to be the happiest version of myself in college. Let it do that for you too. No, seriously. Do us all a solid and take a nap every once and a while. Please and thank you.

Sophomore at Boston College. Studying political science and English. Born and raised in Chi Town.

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